Double blast as Carl guns down leaders
Whitewebbs 0 Buntingford Town 2 CARL Smith was on target twice as Town produced a superb victory at league leaders Whitewebbs. They comprehensively beat the runaway Herts Premier Division pacesetters on Saturday. With the home team having only been beate
Whitewebbs 0 Buntingford Town 2 CARL Smith was on target twice as Town produced a superb victory at league leaders Whitewebbs. They comprehensively beat the runaway Herts Premier Division pacesetters on Saturday. With the home team having only been beaten once in their opening 19 league games, having a 100 per cent home record, it pointed to a home victory. But Paul Attfield's side went into the game unbeaten in six outings and the confidence showed throughout the game. Early frost made the wearing pitch quite difficult to play on in places and a brisk swirling wind added to the problems. The Enfield side had plenty of early possession. Playing into the strong wind they passed the ball with great efficiency but come up against a resolute, solid Town defensive unit and created very little. Most of Whitewebbs' attacks were broken up in midfield or around the penalty area, with the central midfield pairing of Mark Smith and Lee Ridings using their experience well to protect keeper Damion Williamson to a degree that no meaningful first-half saves were needed. Town found it difficult to penetrate a home defensive system that had only conceded 11 league goals to date but did have a number of set plays they should have used better. Duncan Easley knocked four wind-assisted kicks into the area that were too easily claimed by the home keeper, and a trio of corners should have caused problems if better delivered. It was obvious the home side were becoming increasingly frustrated with being unable to create clear chances and a rash challenge on the lively Smith brought a booking for centre-half Craig Simmons. Town who made the breakthrough nine minutes before half-time with their first real chance in open play. Jamie Babbage's through ball found George Garner, who played the ball infield. Two home players went for the same ball and it ran into the area, where Smith reacted quickest to smash the ball past the advancing Chris Osbourne. This really boosted the visitors who attacked strongly before half time. Mark Smith had a shot go over from 25 yards and just before half-time a Dave Morbin corner was headed just over by David Cain. Town lost captain Duncan Easley with a groin strain and with youngster Barry Lynch replacing him it meant Town played the second half with four teenagers in their back line. Whitewebbs had plenty of early second-half possession without really threatening the Town goal, although Bryan Hughes did have the ball in the net nine minutes into the half but the effort was rightly disallowed for offside. Jamie Babbage made two outstanding tackles on the experienced Hughes when he was clear on goal, but apart from this Whitewebbs created little and began throwing more players forward in a desperate attempt to get a goal. This turned out to be more beneficial for Town as the team were confident enough and composed enough to hit their hosts on the break in the final 20 minutes and created some clear opportunities. George Garner ran clean through on goal but his early shot was blocked by the advancing Osbourne. Then Smith shot inches over from 20 yards when perhaps he had lots more time to advance towards goal. Lively teenager Robbie Wilmott had an effort just go wide before Town cemented their victory with seven minutes remaining. Michael Ettienne knocked a fine ball to Wilmott, who convincingly beat the last home defender and, after drawing the keeper, squared for Smith to score from a tight angle. This deflated the home side and the remaining minutes saw the visitors maintain a strong grip on the game to see out a deserved victory. Town: D Williamson, J Babbage, D Chaffey, D Cain, D Easley (B Lynch), M Smith, L Ridings, G Garner, C Smith, G Christie (R Wilmott), D Morbin (M Ettienne) n Royston Town Vets saw their home game against Bluntisham fall victim to a frozen pitch, on Sunday. They travel to Hertford to face Goldin Old Boys this week.